What is Satanism?
Question: "What is Satanism?"
Answer: Satanism is not easily summarized. How Satanism is defined depends on what "division" of Satanism you are referring to. In contrast to Christianity, Satanists themselves disagree on their very fundamental principles. While Christians may differ in opinion or conviction about interpretation of certain Bible passages, Christians believe the same foundational principle that Jesus is God’s Son who paid the price for our
sins by dying on
the cross and rising from the dead. Satanists in different camps argue whether there even is a Satan and whether they are worshiping him or themselves. In essence they are a confused lot bound by and to lies. John 8:44 is perhaps a good summary of Satanism: “You belong to your father the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in
him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
It is because of these lies that there is a plethora of ideologies and false philosophies in Satanism. You can be hard pressed to find a handful outside their own coven, church, or group that “believe” the same way. Some of Satanism's practices are constant, but Satanists' comfort and unity is found more in the “acts” of rituals than in the “relationship” to a belief system. It is easier to call themselves "Satanists" if they
“do” certain things.
There is the Church of Satan, Satanists, Devil Worshippers, and many other categories included in Satanism. Most of them claim to have roots stemming from Anton LeVey, the author of the Satanic bible and founder of the first Church of Satan. (Side note: He presumably started the first Church of Satan in 1966. As a self-proclaimed authority on everything evil, he began giving weekly lectures at the cost of $2 per person. And thus the Church
of Satan was born.
Even in their harsh disagreement of principles and beliefs, there is an underlying commonality: self. The very sin for which Satan was forever dismissed from God’s presence is their common denominator: selfishness. All forms of Satanism claim that life exists to consume. Wicca demands you treat mother earth with respect and use the power that is within her and yourself, but for your own good. Devil worshippers hail allegiance to Satan and
think he will guard them for all eternity; that is, if they believe there is an eternity. Some adherents of Satanism hold that the only existence they will ever know is here on earth. And thus, devil worshippers live for the moment and their creed is gluttony and debauchery.
Satanism gives its allegiance to Satan, while at the same time some in the Church of Satan believe no God or Satan truly exists. Most of the Church of Satan also believes that there is no redeemer for them or anyone else. Each person is fully responsible for the path of his own life. But then they turn around and pray to Satan in rituals, asking for his sovereign hand to be manifested in their lives. This kind of thinking is characteristic
because of the influence of lies and deceptions throughout their philosophy. In light of this, some Satanists don’t believe in the Satan of the Bible because he was a fallen angel—and who wants to follow a loser? The best lie Satan ever told was that he didn’t exist, and his interest is in turning people away from Christ. Whether they believe in him or not is actually irrelevant to him, as long as the end result is the
same—their souls in bondage to him in hell.
In short, Satanism, while it may or may not be worshiping Satan, is a conscious effort to NOT worship the one true real God. Romans 1 gives a clear look into the heart and motives of a Satanist. They have “depraved minds to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness” (vv 28-29). People who have been misled by Satan into this lifestyle have a hard time understanding God’s concept of grace
and freedom. Instead, they live for themselves, by themselves. Their identity is shaped by the events and seeming lofty ideologies of their contemporaries rather than in the truth of the ageless and forever true God.
Second Peter 2 contains a warning to anyone who would follow after Satanism or any other thing rather than God: “These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves
are slaves of depravity” (vv. 17-19).
Recommended Resource: The Serpent of Paradise by Erwin Lutzer.
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